The cryptocurrency investment giant has also seen “massive” options volume as gold takes a fresh beating and institutions seek Bitcoin exposure.
Bitcoin (BTC) and altcoin investment firm Grayscale now has more assets under management (AUM) than the world’s biggest gold fund.
According to the latest data from issuer Grayscale, Grayscale now controls over $60 billion — $1.7 billion more than the leading gold fund, SPDR Gold Shares (GLD).
Praise for Grayscale, futures ETFs
Grayscale’s flagship Bitcoin product, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), meanwhile, contains over 646,000 BTC, worth around $41.75 billion as of Nov. 11.
The figures add to the debate over gold as a store of value and inflation hedge versus Bitcoin, as inflation cuts through the United States and global economies.
With gold flagging compared to BTC/USD, the allure of giving capital Bitcoin exposure has arguably never made more sense.
A month after the first Bitcoin futures exchange-traded funds (ETF) launched, volumes are “massive,” Bloomberg analyst Eric Balchunas said this week.
The first licensed U.S. Bitcoin futures ETF, the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, is nearing 50% of the options volume seen in GLD.
The options volume today on $BITO was MASSIVE for a new launch. It’s also been growing quickly, can see via the avgs. For context, it’s already seeing about half the options volume as $GLD (which is stud level). pic.twitter.com/3sBYtgASkk
— Eric Balchunas (@EricBalchunas) November 10, 2021
“Guess the #DropGold campaign worked,” investor and analyst Kevin Rooke added, noting that GBTC, meanwhile, had “flippened” GLD in terms of AUM.
Grayscale notes “political” involvement in spot ETF approval
As Cointelegraph reported, GBTC itself is set to convert to an ETF, subject to U.S. regulatory approval, as early as summer 2022.
In an interview with CNN this week, Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein appeared cool on the tense topic of regulatory approval of Bitcoin spot ETFs, with the first decision due next week.
Gary Gensler, the chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, remains tight-lipped on the potential for the watershed moment.
“What’s been interesting to see, however, is this is not just a regulatory issue now; this has become a political issue,” Sonnenshein told the network.
“In the last week, we actually saw bipartisan support for a Bitcoin spot ETF, with Reps. Emmer and Soto submitting a letter to chairman Gensler actually calling for the approval of a Bitcoin spot ETF and really wanting to ensure there’s a level playing field for investors as they choose between what could be a futures-based product for them or a spot-based product for them.”
Futures ETFs were in line for subtle criticism, however, having garnered scorn from other institutional sources since October.
“We’ve seen now the approval of the first Bitcoin futures-based ETF, which is a really important moment for our industry and something that we’re all very excited about,” he added.
“But as folks have been drilling in on this, they’ve come to realize that perhaps the embedded roll costs and some of the other features in the futures products may in fact make it not as optimal for investors looking for Bitcoin exposure in their portfolios.”